A chowhound's return to CT
I've just moved home to fairfield county after 20 years in LA. The only thing I liked about LA was the amazing variety of fantastic cheap eats: from Vietnamese Pho to taco trucks that served cuts of meat I'd never had before (sure you can pay $30 for stewed beef cheeks at Craft, but how about $1.25 for a beef cheek taco!).
Please chime in on recs from New Haven to Westchester. Would love to explore what the area has to offer.
Take a ride to Yale New Haven Hospital main entrance on York St. at lunch time. There's about a dozen food carts, great, cheap and ethnic.
Take a ride into Port Chester. Main Street and the surrounding blocks is filled with all kinds of little Latin places.
Mamoun's Falafel in New Haven. Still open after all these years, still pretty cheap ($12ish for a full platter of food with meat kebabs, $5ish for a falafel pita sandwich) and still open till 3 AM.
And Valencia Luncheria on Main Ave in Norwalk. "Venezuelan Beach Food" is what they call it, and it's magnificent. Dozens of different kinds of Empanadas and Arepas, most for less than $5.
Hi and welcome east. Again. First two things. Don't expect to find the kind of variety (or standard of quality) in either the asian food or mexican food. Good food from both to be found in the boroughs, but in these parts the pickings aren't as bountiful.
So, starting with your first cuisine mentioned. There's really no Vietnamese north of the City. Pretty much at all. Certainly not anything worth talking. No banh mi or real pho. Certainly nothing like Westminster in Orange County.
For Mexican, the choices around here are better than Vietnamese. The best Mexican I've found are in either Port Chester, as someone mentioned above, and New Rochelle. You'll find lots and lots of posts on places in those area. My new favorite place is la herradura in new rochelle. hand made tortillas... very good. But loads of good recent posts on places there.
With the mexican though, you won't find the regional variety you get in LA. No oaxacan or yucatecan places worth noting, for example. But at least you can get competent mexican, which not too long ago wasn't the case.
But life isn't all that bad. While the pizza options in these parts gets trashed a lot, that's because they are compared relative ot NYC and haven't tried the typical pizzeria in southern california (pizzeria mozza and other notables aside). Even the pizza at my local place in stamford is far ahead of what I used to get back home in CA. And that's true of most of the neighborhood delis, bakeries and trattorias I've found.
good luck, welcome back and we look forward to your own local reports!